Today, was a bit of a mixed bag. We gained, but how far we moved forward remains to be seen. The photos already loaded tell the brief story, but from a purely prosthetic standpoint, the boxes that we shipped to Peru; that arrived over a week ago; are still suck in customs. The story is far from clear, but the boxes we shipped down are here in Lima. They are simply stuck in customs, supposedly due to proper documentation and verbage not being what is required for its release.
We made the best of it.
The day began with the president of the hospital welcoming us to Carrion Hospital. The pictures below show the president as well as Dr. Wakefield doing the inventory of the medicines and supplies that he is bringing in and donating to the hospital.
After the presidential welcome we enjoyed breakfast and then set to work. As a group we worked both together and separately as teams to set up what tools and supplies we had, as well as evaluate 20 of the 35 patients we came to fit with new prostheses.
Steve Charry (Esteban) and I worked together all morning getting to know our new friends. These Peruvian patients are amazing. Patient after patient told us that they had prayed that we would come...as if that were a question. ;-) The oldest prosthesis we saw, we were told was 40yrs old. The lady had been an amputee since she was 7. Hit by a car. You could see how the prosthesis had been repaired multiple times, both due to normal wear and tear as well as simply keeping up with a childs growth.
We did a somewhat normal physical examination; making sure that any information we had been provided was correct; as well as attempt to glean any information that might help us make a better device for them. We assessed measurements, abilities, areas of pain or discomfort.
The highlight of my day came at about 2pm and lasted for 60 sec. It was seeing Jorge. Similar to Rosa from yesterday, Al and I had fit Jorge last year. He excelled and moved extremely well with his prosthesis. His English is about as good as my Spanish. Enough to say hello, how are you and where is the bathroom. Still, we hugged and he nearly lifted me off the ground. Jorge and I have exchanged maybe 4 emails since last year....simply to say hello and how are you, in broken tongues. It is just great to see for certain that he is indeed as good as he said he was.
The pictures posted are a glimmer of some of today's work. PT, Kevin Connellan playing McGuyver, making a large washer out of either a small diameter washer or a Soles (1$) that I had given him and McGuyver II, Taber Hammond repurposing a strap from a misused back brace to a leg brace that a patient badly needed.
At the end of the day, we made our way to a typical Peruvian eatery....during facetime with my family tonight, my daughter Anna was taken aback when in response to her dinner question, I said that I hoped to have some heart-on-a-stick. I think Steve and I together had 3 ...;-) Muy Delicsioso.
In the picture from the eatery are nurses, Kate and Lena, prothestist Abby and P&O student Esteban Charry.
Cross your fingers for us for tomorrow. Pray that our boxes get out of customs and we can begin to finish what we have started.
Buenos noches, mis amigos